Have Metadata, Can Collaborate

Have Metadata, Can Collaborate: Putting the MARC21 583 Field to Use in Cooperative Preservation Efforts

an ALCTS Program

Sunday, June 26, 2011 | 1:30–3:30pm

Track: Collection Management and Technical Services

Subtrack: Preservation

Presenters will showcase developments in the use of the MARC21 583 field to record and share conservation and preservation actions. New  interfaces, macros, and procedures which demonstrate  forward-looking approaches to documenting preservation will be described.  Harvard ’s Schlesinger Library will show how macros and local standardization can optimize effort within a single system. UCLA Library will discuss MARC21 583 in conjunction with WorldCat Local Holdings Records to support collaborative print archiving and preservation.

There are many benefits to recording conservation and preservation actions using standardized encoding and terminology: identifying materials within a library system that have received or need treatment, as well as facilitating the sharing of information about preservation and conservation actions between libraries. Presenters will review the overall national guidelines for recording such information in the MARC21 583 "Action Note" field, and describe the reasons for the development of terminologies and systems at Harvard and UCLA to supplement that framework. Technical services librarians and preservation administrators who are keenly interested in exploiting technological solutions to facilitate cooperative collection management will benefit from this presentation of the use of the 583 field with WorldCat Local Holdings Records to share information in regional print archive projects, new systems for recording conservation treatment information, and macros developed at Harvard's Schlesinger Library that allow conservation staff to create MARC data easily.


At the end of this program, participants will have a better understanding of how the national standard of Preservation & Digitization Actions (PDA) terminology can be used to record and share preservation and conservation actions in the MARC21 583 field; the potential of metadata recorded in this field to facilitate cooperative work at the local, regional, and national levels; why and how institutions develop terminology to supplement PDA; and how to facilitate coding by preservation and conservation staff who are not trained MARC catalogers.


  • Amy Benson, Librarian/Archivist for Digital Initiatives, Schlesinger Library, Harvard University
  • Heather Caldwell, Head, Conservation Services, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
  • Deborah Funkhouser, Head of Collection Services, Published Materials, Schlesinger Library, Harvard University
  • Jacob Nadal, Preservation Officer, UCLA Library

Sponsored by PARS.